2023 Dulles Greenway Wetlands Eaglets (DG3, DG4, DG5)
This year three eaglets hatched in the nest at the Dulles Greenway Wetlands. Bald Eagle fans throughout the world have been excitedly watching them on the Eagle Cam, and Loudoun Wildlife volunteer “Earlybird” has been documenting their progress on the Nest Activity Log. Then on May 28 part of the nest collapsed at 4:11 pm. Scroll down to see what happened next. Updates will be posted here as they become available.
Donations may be made on the Eagle Cam donation form to support the Eagle Cam program
Tuesday, August 29 – Update on Pat from the Wildlife Center of Virginia website:
Rehabilitation staff report that Bald Eagle #23-1713’s physical strength and stamina have improved during the past few weeks and that the bird is able to complete between 10-15 passes of the A3 flight pen during daily exercise. A blood sample was drawn and analyzed in-house on August 28, which did not reveal any abnormalities or medical concerns. Following more than four months of care at the Wildlife Center, Bald Eagle #23-1713 is ready for release!
The Wildlife Center staff conferred with both the state eagle biologist and the property owners where the eagle’s nest is located and were able to determine an appropriate location in close proximity to the nest where this eagle originally hatched. While the release location is an excellent habitat for an eagle, it is privately owned and is not accessible to the public.
Center staff will likely release Bald Eagle #23-1713 back into the wild this week — stay tuned for photos and updates!
Friday, August 11 – Update on Pat from the Wildlife Center of Virginia website:
Bald Eaglets #23-0621 [Seven Bends State Park], #23-0710 [K62], and #23-1713 [Dulles Greenway] have all been steadily regaining their physical strength and stamina during the past two weeks.
Rehabilitation staff report that each bird has made notable progress during daily flight conditioning regimens; Bald Eaglet #23-0621’s [Seven Bends State Park] stamina has improved compared to the past week, and the bird is able to complete between 10-12 passes of the A3 flight pen each day. #23-0710 [K62] is “flying beautifully”, according to Rehabilitation Team Lead Mac, flying between 10-13 passes of the enclosure. #23-1713 [Dulles Greenway] is able to complete between 10-12 passes of the flight pen each day, but is often reluctant to exercise and is observed flying at a lower altitude compared to the other eaglets.
For now, these eagles will remain in the A3 flight pen under close observation as the veterinary and rehabilitation teams evaluate their possible release back into the wild during the coming weeks. Barring any major medical or rehabilitative issues, staff predict their releases may be achievable before the end of August.
Friday, July 28 – Update on Pat from the Wildlife Center of Virginia website:
Bald Eaglets #23-0612 [Seven Bends State Park], #23-0710 [K62], and #23-1713 [Dulles Greenway] have all been doing well in the Center’s A3 flight enclosure.
While the young eaglets have been flying and building their flight muscles in this large space for several weeks, during the past few days, the rehabilitation staff started a formal exercise program for the young birds. Each day, the staff encourage the birds to fly from one end of the flight pen to the other, and they carefully monitor the bird’s stamina, lift, and maneuverability.
Exercise will continue during the next few weeks; if all goes well, the eaglets should be ready for release later this summer.
Monday, July 10 – Update on Pat from the Wildlife Center of Virginia website:
Bald Eaglet #23-1713 finished his course of antifungal medications on Independence Day, and on July 5, the rehabilitation staff opened the tower doors into the main flight area of A3. The eaglet was quick to “fledge” from the tower, and shortly thereafter, flew down into the main enclosure to join eaglets #23-0621 and #23-0710. The three young hatch-year birds will continue to live together as they start flight conditioning in the next week or two, and prepare for their eventual release.
Bald Eaglet #23-1713 currently weighs 3.90 kg and is continuing to eat a diet of fish and rats.
Thursday, June 29 – Update on Pat from the Wildlife Center of Virginia website:
Bald Eaglet #23-1713 has been doing well during the past two weeks and is still housed in the lofted tower area of the Center’s largest flight pen. The eaglet is eating well and consumes about 300 grams of both rat and fish each day.
At the Center, young eagles are routinely started on a course of antifungal medications as a preventative measure, since these young birds can be prone to developing fungal infections in a captive setting. Eaglet #23-1713 will be finished with his course of medications during the first full week of July; at that point, the tower doors of the raptor tower will be opened and the young bird will be able to mingle with the other eagles in the attached flight pen.
As an added bonus, Connor O’Brien, Window to Wildlife Biologist & CEO, took time for a live Q&A with nest fans from up in the tree at 4:30 pm.
Read all about the nest rebuild here.
Saturday, June 24 – Window to Wildlife is back on site. The nest build begins today.
Their update at the end of the day: “We are 95% done with the nest base. We need to add a few small parts on and paint some areas. Tomorrow morning we will start to add the sticks and make it look like a real eagles nest. Lastly we will adjust the side cam and make sure it will have good views for next season.”
Friday, June 23 – Window to Wildlife began preliminary work today by getting equipment to the nest site and setting ropes in the tree. They will work to move the 4k camera (side-view/fixed camera) to a more optimal position before beginning the nest build tomorrow morning.
Doug and Nick will perform the work at the nest site while Connor provides essential support and guidance from the ground.
Wednesday, June 21 – Today, the Dulles Greenway in partnership with Loudoun Wildlife Conservancy, announced plans to rebuild the Bald Eagle nest that completely collapsed in early June. The nest was home to Rosa, Martin and their three eaglets (Pi, Pat and Flora). The nest was 90-feet high in a pignut hickory tree on the Dulles Greenway 149 acres of wetlands for at least 10 years.
Window to Wildlife will rebuild the nest back in the previous spot with a stronger base and nest core to allow for future expansions. The nest will look natural with the hopes of encouraging Rosa and Martin to come back to the same nest tree. The work will start Friday, June 23, 2023, weather permitting, and should be completed in three days. Window to Wildlife recently did a rebuild in Florida after Hurricane Ian destroyed a nest in 2022.
“Building the nest back stronger will allow Rosa, Martin, & their future eaglets to have a safe home for a very long time. We are hopeful that the eagles will return and enjoy their new nest,” said Connor O’Brien, Biologist & Co-Owner, Window to Wildlife.
“Hopefully, this will entice Rosa and Martin to return to their previous nest tree in the fall and not build a new nest in a different tree away from our cameras,” said Terry Hoffman, Public and Customer Relations Manager, Dulles Greenway. “We will also take this opportunity to improve the viewer experience by repositioning the 4K side camera.”
“This nest cam has connected students and residents to nature in a profound way,” stated Michael Myers, Executive Director of Loudoun Wildlife Conservancy. “We are hopeful this process will be successful, and we look forward to continuing to bring the joy and wonder of nature into classrooms and homes.”
Nest fans can watch the rebuild on the Dulles Greenway live-stream eagle cameras at www.dullesgreenway.com/eagle-cam/. The website also features a moderated chat every Monday 7:30 – 8:30pm and Thursday 8:30 – 9:30pm that allows viewers to comment and ask questions about the Bald Eagles. The last moderated chat for this season will be Thursday, June 29, 2023.
Wednesday, June 14 – Update on Pat posted on the Wildlife Center of Virginia website:
On June 13, Bald Eaglet #23-1713 was moved to the tower of the Center’s A3 flight enclosure. This lofted space overlooks the main flight space of the A3 enclosure, which is currently housing three other eagles – two hatch-year birds, and one adult. The tower is an ideal space for young Bald Eagles; once they are ready to fledge from the nest, the tower doors are opened, and the bird may test its wings and fly from the nest as it would in the wild. The eagle is eating a diet of rats and fish and currently weighs 4.0 kg.
Comments from the Dulles Greenway Eagle Cam Team:
The green tape on the wings are called carpal bumpers, which are protective bandage bumpers just to protect the eaglet’s “wrists”. They’re standard protocol for all the eagles in our care, as eagles are a bit notorious for bumping that part of their bodies into walls or perches if they overshoot a perch or need to be captured.
On the previous update, it was reported that Pat’s keel score was 2. Keel scores run from 1 to 5 with 3 being ideal. Scores of 4 and 5 are increasingly overweight, scores of 2 and 1 are increasingly underweight. The number is completely subjective and determined by simply feeling the birds keel bone, many consider scores of 2.5 to 3.5 to be in the normal healthy range. So Pat’s keel score of 2 is low but not alarming.
Tuesday, June 13 – Pi and Flora seen together at 6:00 am for the first time since Pi’s release back to the wetlands on June 7. Seen here on the snag tree, located near the nest tree, where Rosa and Martin are making food deliveries.
Monday, June 12 at 8:33 pm – We understand that some nest fans are concerned about the care given to both Pi and Pat in rehabilitation. We appreciate that concern and want to reassure you that Pi and Pat received the highest level of care at Wildlife Veterinary Care, and that this excellence in care will continue through Pat’s stay at the Wildlife Center of Virginia. If you are not a wildlife veterinarian or rehabilitator with firsthand knowledge of the health and development of these fledglings, please refrain from commenting on the specifics of the medical treatment and decisions made by the professionals charged with their care. We have the upmost confidence in them.
Monday, June 12 at 12:55 pm – Without seeing both fledglings together, it is hard to say with 100% certainty that both fledglings have been seen. It is further complicated by the fact it is raining, and the feathers on this fledging are wet.
However, after watching the behavior over the last almost two hours, and seeing some markings such as the white mark over the left eye, the wing markings, and the larger size of the beak, it appears this could be the first sighting of Pi on the cam since release. The behavior of this fledgling is also very different, as we have not seen Flora remain on the island for this long of time before.
We will continue to observe and hope to soon get both fledglings on cam together.
Sunday, June 11 – The only update provided so far on Pat was shared last night by Wildlife Center of Virginia. We are unable to address any of the information in that update. We do rely on the advice of our rehabilitation experts and our own experience to do what is believed to be best for the eagles.
Releasing Pi back in the Wetlands was the best decision with Pi being healthy and flying and the parents and sibling still in the area. It would not be in any of the eagles/fledglings’ best interest to go check in the area at this time. This setting for the eagles is very remote with very little human activity. There have already been three incidents of going into the nest tree area up to this point. Any further activity/intrusion could cause a disruption that would not be in any of their best interest with so much eagle activity still occurring right near the nest tree area.
Saturday, June 10 – This 7:42 pm update was taken from the Wildlife Center of Virginia website. We look forward to getting updates on Pat’s progress.
Bald Eagle #23-1713
June 9, 2023
Location of Rescue:
Cause of Admission / Condition:
Fell from Nest
Current Patient On June 9, the Wildlife Center admitted a fledgling Bald Eaglet from the Dulles Greenway Eagle Nest in Leesburg, Virginia.
The Dulles Greenway Eagles successfully hatched three young eaglets this year – eagle cam watchers from around the world were able to see eaglets DG3, DG4, and DG5 [also known as Pi, Pat, and Flora, respectively] grow and thrive under the care of their parents. On May 28, part of the eagle nest started to crumble. The middle eaglet — DG4 — fell from the nest late that night; the eaglet was picked up the next morning and taken to wildlife rehabilitator and veterinarian Dr. Belinda Burwell. Within a few days, the rest of the nest fell, and another eaglet was picked up and taken into care; the third (and youngest) eaglet remained at the nest tree with her parents and successfully branched and fledged.
Dr. Belinda found that both eaglets were healthy, though DG4 was thin at admission and was not as ready to fly as his sibling. While eaglet DG3 was able to return to the nest site and be reunited with his parents, Dr. Belinda opted to keep DG4 in care since he was not flying well, and there were concerns about the parent eagles keeping up with the increasing demand of feeding three young eaglets. The eagle was transferred to the Wildlife Center of Virginia for continued care on June 9.
On admission, DG4 was bright and alert. Veterinary intern Dr. Marit examined the young bird and found that he was mildly dehydrated and had a body condition score of 2/5. Radiographs and bloodwork both came back normal. Dr. Marit administered fluids and started the eaglet on a course of antifungal medication to prevent aspergillosis, a fungal infection that is often seen in young eagles. She then placed the eaglet inside the hospital’s holding area to rest.
DG4 is currently staying inside the Center’s hospital where he can be closely monitored. The vet team plans to move him to the Center’s A3 Raptor Tower later this week.
Friday, June 9 – Announced at 5:15 pm: We were advised by Dr. Burwell that Pat flew the entire length of the flight cage this morning prior to transfer to Wildlife Center of Virginia (WCV). Pat is now at the WCV and will get the care needed to ensure that when Pat is ready to be released in the wild, it is an independent, self-sufficient juvenile. We will provide any updates that we receive.
We are grateful for the care Dulles Greenway Eagles Pat (DG4) and Pi (DG3) received with Dr. Belinda Burwell at Wildlife Vet Care. Please consider making a donation to this facility to help with the costs of care. More information is available here: https://www.wildlifeveterinarycare.org/donate. Donations previously made to the wildlife facility via Loudoun Wildlife Conservancy will be redistributed to Wildlife Vet Care in the coming days. Thank you for your continued support and well wishes.
Wednesday, June 7 – Announcement at 6:25 pm: Pi was released shortly after 3:00 PM. When left, Pi was at the base of the nest tree. A parent was on the snag when Pi was out of the carrier.
It is normal for young fledglings to stay on the ground for some time. Pi had demonstrated the ability to fly to get on branches, and likely after getting acclimated again to the area, has gotten on one of the many low branches of the nest tree.
We will continue to observe on cams and hope to catch one or both, but it is very possible we may not see either much on cam as they explore the Wetlands and become more independent.
Although Pat was not injured in the fall, Pat has not yet been able to fly well enough to reach low branches. Even though we understand that it is always best for wildlife to be raised in the wild, it would be unsafe to return Pat to the wetlands at this time. Pat is making progress and we hope that, with time, Pat will gain the strength and skills needed to be released back to the wetlands in late summer. On Friday, Pat will be transferred to the Wildlife Center of Virginia where it will be able to associate with other eagles, develop flying skills, and learn to capture prey.
Wednesday, June 7 – Announcement at 2:00 pm: We are happy to announce we will be releasing Pi this afternoon back in the Wetlands near the nest tree. Pi was flying well in the flight cage and will be able to fly branch to branch and be visible to Rosa and Martin. We look forward to hopefully seeing both Pi and Flora on cams in the Wetlands as Martin and Rosa continue to care for them. Those opportunities will become less frequent as the fledglings move farther from the nest tree and explore the wetlands on their way to independence.
Pat still needs more time to develop flight skills as it is not flying well enough to be able to get from branch to branch in the Wetlands. For now, Pat will remain in rehabilitation for further monitoring, time in the flight cage, and live prey testing. It is hoped Pat can be returned to the Wetlands in late summer or early fall as a self-sufficient, independent juvenile.
Neither eaglet has been DNA tested or banded at this time. Thank you to all our nest fans for your support and the love of this eagle family.
Monday, June 5 – Around 7:00 pm, Flora attempted to land on a branch where a parent had food. It was a missed landing, and Flora went down with a few sticks [all that was remaining of the nest]. Since then we have heard lots of vocals from Flora, and it appears both Martin and Rosa are aware of where Flora is, and are trying to entice Flora with food. Flora is fully flighted and we feel she is likely on a branch and doing fine. It is possible we may not see Flora back until tomorrow.
Saturday, June 3 – Pi (DG3) was evaluated with no injuries found and is currently at the wildlife rehabilitation center with Pat (DG4). Both have been placed together in a flight cage at the current time. They are currently being monitored and assessed.
Flora (DG5) has had two good meals delivered yesterday and one today. Flora spent the entire night up on the sentry branch. Both Rosa and Martin have been to the nest this morning. We will continue to observe and be ready to act if necessary.
Many Dulles Greenway Eagles Cam fans are inquiring about donating to support our program and/or the wildlife rehabilitation center that is caring for eaglets Pat (DG4) and Pi (DG3). Donations may be made on the Eagle Cam donation form to support the Eagle Cam program. Please include a note in the message box if you want your donation to go to the wildlife rehabilitation center and we will pass the money to them. Thank you for your continued support and well wishes. to support the Eagle Cam program. Please include a note in the message box if you want your donation to go to the wildlife rehabilitation center and we will pass the money to them. Thank you for your continued support and well wishes.
A decision will be made about returning Pi to the wetlands after our wildlife veterinarian has evaluated its condition. We are not revealing the facility to ensure they are not flooded with requests for updates from the public or the press.
Any attempt to approach Flora (DG5) in the tree would cause it to jump potentially resulting in injury. Even through the nest fell, the tree is stable. Flora is secure on a branch and Martin delivered a nice fish for breakfast. For now we will continue to observe and be ready to act if necessary
Thursday, June 1 – Eaglet names are announced from the naming contest. DG3 is Pi (hatched on Pi Day, 3.14), DG4 is Pat (hatched on St. Patrick’s Day) and DG5 is Flora (hatched the day before Spring Equinox).
Wednesday, May 31 – DG4 is alert and eating well at the rehabilitation facility
Sunday, May 28 at 4:11 pm – a portion of the Dulles Greenway Eagle nest collapsed.